Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Tokyo Round 1

Sept. 29 – Oct 2. Tokyo.
Serafima had a few things planned in Tokyo so it was good to just tag along. I soon found out that she had a boyfriend back in the UK. One who as it turned out, was a very jealous type. He would rather his girlfriend be alone in Tokyo then hanging out with me. Over the next few days we tried to explore the city and surrounding areas. We where staying in Asukusa, a quieter part of Tokyo located on the north east side of the city.

We took a train to Mt. Takao where we took a cable car about halfway up then hiked to the top where the main shrines were. Round trip from Shinjuku is about 750 yen. Since it was a weekend, the place was crowded with locals from Tokyo. Some dressed head to toe in hiking gear with large backpacks like they are setting out on the Appalachian trail. You have to search for paths that aren't paved and Sara didn't even have problems in her girly shoes. We watched the sunset on the top of the mountain then sold our "down" tickets and walked down the mountain in the dark. We had to transfer trains in Shinjuku and hunger had set in so we found a sushi restaurant and ate our fill.

Passing time on a train. The object of the game: Flip the bottle through the ring. 
Lots of sushi consumed.

The next day we went looking for a battery charger for my camera so it was a good excuse to explore Akihabara which is known for electronics malls, crazy anime stores, loud noises, and lights. As we walked from store to store striking out on finding my charger, we would stumble upon a few hidden gems. There are a few buildings that are like a "bazzar" for electrical parts and electronics. Switches, lights, LEDs, motors, fans, computer parts, tools, wire, connectors and just about everything else that would make a DIY nerd drool. We finally found my charge in the Yodobashi Camera store. This 9 story monstrosity of a store that has anything you could want or need in the world of electronics.

We met up with my friend Mayu. The same one who I had met up with in Rome. It was fun to have a tour guide as we explored Shibuya. Shibuya and Shinjuku are 2 great places to go if you want to see what happens at night in Tokyo. The people watching was more than great. I wanted to get a baseball hat from a local baseball team. I figured the New Era store would be a good place to look. It turns out Adidas and other brands make the Japan baseball caps. The New Era store sells mostly hats from US teams. Everywhere you go in Tokyo you see NY and LA hats in all imaginable colors.

New and old friends

Really Japan? Where are the Japanese hats?

Awesome sticker shop. B-side lable. 

Om nom nom

Anything you might need. 

A baseball game in Japan has always been on my bucket list. We caught one of the last regular season games of the year. Tokyo Giants vs. Yakult Swallows. Near the Tokyo dome there is a small amusement park and Serafima made me go on a roller coaster. She kept saying "you love adrenaline"... And I had to explain to her "I love adrenaline, but I love being in control". Motorcycles, sleds and snowboards are great fun.. because I'm controlling them. I'm not the only one I know who loves to drive autocross but hates to be in the passenger seat. I rode it once and that was enough for me. I opted to try to take pictures the 2nd time she wanted to go. The game itself was great. The fans were very loud and had a chant for every player. The beer girls wore a keg on their back would walk around filling your beer. It was 400 yen for a decent sized beer. This is about $4. For some reason the beers were half the normal price of 800 yen. Maybe last game of the season?

Tokyo dome view from the "big wheel"

Beer girls. I wanted one of them to follow me around on my birthday.  


Noodles at a baseball game?

Oct. 3 Tokyo to Yokohama.122 km
We woke up at 4:00 to catch ride to the harbor in the dark. Serafima thought she needed to catch a sunrise in the "Land of the rising sun". We had hot coffee out of a vending machine and watched ships go by and locals fish as the sun lit up Tokyo. She had to be back to the hostel by 7:30 so she could make it to the airport to catch her flight. So the obvious option for me was to go back to bed for a few more hours. By this time, the KTM shop should have received all the parts I ordered so I went there first. The shipment of parts came at 2:00 and I was able to work on my moto in the parking area of the shop. I replaced the coutershaft seal and sprocket as well as a few parts for the front brake. My front brake was making a clacking sound every time I used it. The pins and parts that hold the brake pads were all warn out so there was a lot of slop. I made it into Yokohama before dark and checked into a hostel. This was just in time for the rain to start for another typhoon.

Sun up. Time to go back to bed. 

She was a KTM fan. 

Messed up countershaft seal. 

New seal and sprocket. 

They love the duke here. 
Oct. 4 -5 Yokohama.

The plan not to spend 2 days in Yokohama but when it is raining hard every day, the warm dry bed and hot food of a friendly city sway your decision. I spent the days walking around Yokohama under an umbrella, trying to get caught up on the RR and drinking with new friends at night. Japan Hostels are very easy to get lost in time. You say "I'll stay one more day". The staff nods and smiles. I bet they are thinking "see you tomorrow morning to hear the same thing".

The awesome staff. 

1 comment:

  1. Noah the Japan blog is awesome! So many great pics and so many great memories brought back to me through your adventure. I am going back someday to visit. You re-lit the fire in me to see Japan again! Thank you and safe travels! Mike T. Mesa,AZ